Saturday Night Update:
Eberlein Drive, with Cal alum Jerome Randle at the helm as the starting point guard, is through to the 2019 The Basketball Tournament Final 8 after another nail biting win in the Salt Lake City Regional. Facing elimination if the opponent gets another point, Eberlein Drive stayed cool under pressure and chip away at that lead with 4 points from Randle. After a big stop, Drive went for the win with Jerome Randle taking a long jumper. Even though that shot did not go in, Eberlein Drive was able to get the loose ball and put it in for the 68-67 win.
Jerome Randle highlight - 18 points and 4 steals.
Eberlein Drive and Jerome Randle will next play in Randle’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Their Elite 8 game is on August 1st.
Our first matchup of Championship Week is set! @EberleinDrive will take on @CarmensCrew in the TBT Quarterfinals on Thursday, August 1st at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.— TBT (@thetournament) July 28, 2019
: https://t.co/Fyo8iVD3ZN https://t.co/hQR70LtOeh
Best of continued luck to Jerome and his squad!
Although he never got a shot in the NBA, Jerome Randle has steadily playing pro-ball oversea (from Ukraine to Australia) since graduating from Cal as the Golden Bears with the most points on the basketball court ever in history. For the 3rd straight year, Randle is playing in The Basketball Tournament where Cal fans in the US can watch Randle make deep 3’s, sling no-look passes, or blow past defenders for that tear drop bucket.
Randle is on his 2nd season as the starting point guard for Eberlein Drive*, one of the founding team in the TBT when a bunch of friends from a cul-de-sac in Michigan thought that the TBT is a shot for them to play against pros - the TBT has since turn into almost 100% basketball pros playing for both glory but also a share of the $2 million winners-take-all prize**. With Randle leading the way, Eberlein Drive made the championship final last summer as a surprising 7th seed in one of the 8 regionals (each regional has 8 teams) before falling to 4x defending champs in the Overseas Elites. Eberlein Drive is the top seed in the Salt Lake City Regional this year.
*Many TBT teams are formed via college alumni, yet somehow Cal alumni has not been organized enough to pull this off. Justin Cobbs did voice the desire to do a TBT team in the future this season...we shall see if that ever gets any traction.
**10% of the prize apparently goes to the “Fans” of the winning team. I’m not completely sure how the top fans are determined, but I apparently will get some beer money ($250) if Eberlein Drive does win the title this year.
Jerome Randle has explicitly said after the second round victory that this tournament is all about pride, rather than the money.
Eberlein Drive has started a bit slow in their first and second round games these past two days. Jerome Randle has been keyed in on by the opponents who all know just how good Jerome Randle can be; nonetheless, those teams can only slow Randle down but not contain him. With the TBT using the “Elam Ending” (in the final 4 minutes on the first natural break, a final score is set to the value of the then leading team score + 8) which allows every game to have a “game winner”, Jerome Randle has been money in not just the second half but also the Elam Ending.
Against a team of Utah alum (a not very imaginative name of “Team Utah”), Randle and Eberlein Drive trailed heading into the Elam Ending but got lucky that Team Utah started to play really tight and take ill-advised 3’s.
That set the stage for this heroic shot by Jerome Randle for the 83-80 win.
Eberlein Drive again started slowly against the LA Cheaters (a bunch of LA’s Drew League players), but turned things around after the first quarter. Drive had a slim lead going into the Elam Ending where Jerome Randle scored all 9 of the necessary 8 points to seal another W as Eberlein Drive defeated LA Cheaters 86 to 84. The Cheaters got within a point of winning, so Randle’s game winning bucket was quite clutch.
Top Regional seed Jerome Randle and the Eberlein Drive will take on the second seed in Team Challenge ALS in the Regional Final tonight. The game will start at 6 pm PT on ESPN3 (AKA WatchESPN online). Should the Eberlein Drive wins this regional, they will advance to the final 8 which will take place in Chicago, conveniently Jerome Randle’s home city, next weekend.
Feel free to use the comment section below to chat about the TBT and Jerome Randle in particular.
GO JEROME! GO BEARS! LET’S DRIVE!